Mr. Andrews' info

George Behe

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Dec 11, 1999
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Hi, Mark!

> Is that book available in English?

I believe Susanne is hoping to produce an English edition, but it hasn't appeared yet.

>> Even after the Smith/Andrews mail room >>encounter, though, it's clear that
>> Andrews *still* did not >>realize the full extent of the damage that
>> Titanic had sustained; he >>continued his inspection alone and only later
>> informed Smith that there >>was no hope.

> May I ask your reasoning >specifically?

When Smith and Andrews left the mail room together, Andrews was overheard telling Smith, "Two have gone already, Captain." This strongly suggests that Andrews did not yet know the full extent of the collision damage. Smith was then seen ascending the stairway toward the bridge, but Andrews was not with him (which suggests that Andrews continued his inspection alone.) Shortly afterwards Andrews himself dashed up the stairway toward the bridge, and witnesses noticed how pale he was. This suggests that Andrews had finally determined that the ship was mortally wounded and that he was on his way to the bridge to inform the Captain. (Unfortunately, there were no surviving witnesses to that final meeting between Andrews and Smith.)

Thanks very much for providing those extra quotes re: the collision damage. However, it's important to remember that these are examples of how *individuals* discovered the seriousness of the collision damage but that they do not necessarily mean that this crucial information was passed along to Andrews, Smith or anyone else in authority. As far as I can discover, Andrews appears to have made the final determination of the accident's seriousness all by himself, and IMO Smith appears to have relied on Andrews alone for that final determination. (It's always possible that I might have missed seeing some crucial tidbits of info, though, and I'd enjoy seeing any additional info on the subject that you might run across.)

All my best,

George
 
Jan 5, 2001
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Hi George!

<FONT COLOR="ff0000">As far as I can discover, Andrews appears to have made the final determination of the accident's seriousness all by himself, and IMO Smith appears to have relied on Andrews alone for that final determination.

Yes, I agree; it's my belief that although Smith was receiving other damage reports, he did rely on Andrews for 'the verdict.'

When you say 'the final determination' though, you are saying what I think you are saying -- whether the ship could be towed, sink, move, etc.?

<FONT COLOR="ff0000">(It's always possible that I might have missed seeing some crucial tidbits of info, though, and I'd enjoy seeing any additional info on the subject that you might run across.)

If I come across anything more, yes.

Regarding some other details, based on enquiry testimony I believe that Smith called Chief Officer Wilde to the bridge (or Wilde came to investigate himself - after all, he was 'Second Captain.')

Another idea was that Smith called Purser McElroy to the bridge to accompany him -- I have no evidence really for this -- but if Smith was going to go on a personal damage inspection, then the Purser would be a good 'accompanier': as Purser, he is responsible for the welfare of passengers (although of course Smith *ultimately* is), while he also toured the ship daily with the Captain. Possibly McElroy went to the Captain himself, but certainly I think Smith would have wanted McElroy to accompany him.

It's my belief Wilde accompanied them -- certainly at the start of the tour below decks, when he spoke to Hemming -- and possibly Captain Smith had asked him to investigate the hissing forepeak, while he and McElroy went below, and then they would all meet on the bridge.

Chief Officer Wilde would not be required to be on the bridge in that situation, I think, as First Officer Murdoch was still on watch and would be for some time. One Senior Officer was enough.

Hopefully in a few weeks' time when I'll have another hard copy of my script I will be able to re-track my exact analysis. It would be good to continue this discussion then as well, as I have not studied the evidence *fully* for some time.

Best regards,

Mark.
 

George Behe

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Dec 11, 1999
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Hi, Mark!

>When you say 'the final determination' though, you are
>saying what I think you are saying -- whether the ship
>could be towed, sink, move, etc.?

My own opinion is that, when Andrews rushed to the bridge, he told Smith that the ship could not be saved and that the evacuation should begin immediately. This seems to have occurred at about 12:15 a.m., at which point Smith ordered Phillips to send out a CQD and told his officers to fill the lifeboats with passengers and lower them away.

>Regarding some other details, based on enquiry testimony I
>believe that Smith called Chief Officer Wilde to the bridge
>(or Wilde came to investigate himself

Could you quote the testimony which led you to this conclusion?

>Another idea was that Smith called Purser McElroy to the
>bridge to accompany him -- I have no evidence really for
>this -- but if Smith was going to go on a personal damage
>inspection, then the Purser would be a good 'accompanier':

I agree that this premise sounds logical, but -- at this point, anyway -- I've never seen any eyewitness testimony to suggest that McElroy *started out* with Smith during the Captain's inspection of the ship. In fact, the information I've seen was pretty specific in saying that Smith's tour below decks was a solitary affair right up until the time he approached the mail room (by which time McElroy accompanied him.)

>It's my belief Wilde accompanied them --certainly at the
>start of the tour below decks, when he spoke to Hemming

Have you found any testimony which places Wilde in Smith's company below decks? All of the eyewitness accounts I've seen state that Smith went below decks by himself and that he was not seen in anyone's company until he and McElroy
approached the mail room together.

>Hopefully in a few weeks' time when I'll have another hard
>copy of my script I will be able to re-track my exact
>analysis. It would be good to continue this discussion then
>as well, as I have not studied the evidence *fully* for some
>time.

Maybe by that time I'll have rediscovered my floppy disk. :) (In the meantime, though, we could continue our discussion privately if you wish -- I always enjoy our exchanges of information and never fail to learn something new from you.)

Take care, old chap.

All my best,

George
 
Jan 5, 2001
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Hi George!

In advance I had better warn you that in places I am treading on very dangerous ground in terms of *evidence*. I know that isn't what a good historian is supposed to do.
smile.gif


<FONT COLOR="ff0000">(In the meantime, though, we could continue our discussion privately if you wish -- I always enjoy our exchanges of information and never fail to learn something new from you.)

Now that should be the other way around! 'I always enjoy our exchanges of information and never fail to learn something new from *you*.' I'm fine to continue the conversation here, then at least I'll embarass myself publicly if I try hard enough!

<FONT COLOR="ff0000">>When you say 'the final determination' though, you are
>saying what I think you are saying -- whether the ship
>could be towed, sink, move, etc.?

My own opinion is that, when Andrews rushed to the bridge, he told Smith that the ship could not be saved and that the evacuation should begin immediately. This seems to have occurred at about 12:15 a.m., at which point Smith ordered Phillips to send out a CQD and told his officers to fill the lifeboats with passengers and lower them away.

I agree with this, although personally I think this may have occured a little earlier than 12.15 a.m.; say 12.10 or 12.05 a.m., probably nearer the former.

From later testimony (I seem to recall Pitman's at boat five) it seems clear Murdoch believed the ship would sink and so I believe he heard either *directly* from Captain Smith about the ship's fate or was on the bridge -- in the wheelhouse possibly -- when Andrews and Smith were in discussion. The same applies for Ismay, as he seemed to know of the ship's fate (again, specifically from Pitman's testimony), although as we know he was vague about speaking with Captain Smith and (from memory) said he didn't speak to *any other* officers.

<FONT COLOR="ff0000">>Regarding some other details, based on enquiry testimony I
>believe that Smith called Chief Officer Wilde to the bridge
>(or Wilde came to investigate himself

Could you quote the testimony which led you to this conclusion?

Certainly -- although it might seem strange to cite it.

[hr]
Quote:

Senator SMITH: Go right along and tell what you did?
Mr. HEMMING: (... Briefly he explains that he went down with the storekeeper to the top of the forepeak tank and found it dry; then he came up to ascertain where the hissing was coming from.) At that time the chief officer, Mr. Wilde, put his head around the hawsepipe and said: 'What's that, Hemming?' I said: 'The air is escaping from the forepeak tank. She is making water in the forepeak tank but the storeroom is quite dry.' He said 'all right' and went away.
[hr]​

Admittedly, this does by no means *prove* that Wilde went below with Captain Smith. However there are several points: I do not think it likely that Wilde would go down there on his own, unless Smith had asked him. As I believe this happened around the time of Smith's inspection, I formed the opinion that Wilde had accompanied Smith etc. at the start of their tour, but of course nobody reported him -- or a Senior Officer that I remember -- below decks with the flooding, so I do think that if he did join Smith at the start, he returned to the bridge *or* at least did not go further below. Of course, I can't prove this, but here's my reasoning; and I don't think this scenario can be disproven.

<FONT COLOR="ff0000">In fact, the information I've seen was pretty specific in saying that Smith's tour below decks was a solitary affair right up until the time he approached the mail room (by which time McElroy accompanied him.)

Could you quote the information, if that's possible? Is it separate from the testimony earlier in this thread? For instance, could it be that they went below decks together, separated and then met up at the mailroom? I seem to remember reports of Smith aft near Chief Bell's quarters on F-deck, perhaps he went that way and then met up with McElroy? (I must be annoying with all these challenges!)

Of course, you have far more knowledge on this subject than me -- and what I have just proposed is different from the conclusion I came to in my script; I think I wrote of them meeting below decks. I like exploring all possibilities -- at least, I like to think so...
smile.gif


Best regards,

Mark.
 
Dec 4, 2000
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Titanic was a damned big object to inspect. Yet, there were obvious reasons why it had to be done quickly. I rather suspect there was no single "inspection party," but rather individuals that worked as a team. The logical members of that team would be Captain Smith, builder Andrews, Chief Wilde, etc. They probably came together and split up as part of the inspection process. So, trying to put together any scenario that includes everyone all the time is probably not possible.

In addition, the type of information needed by Smith was different from what Andrews would have been seeking. Smith needed to know the operational status of his ship while Andrews was more interested in its long-term health.

-- David G. Brown
 
Jan 5, 2001
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Hi Dave!

Interesting point regarding Smith's required information and Andrews' required information.

Certainly for me it is *vitally* important to recall the Hawke collision as well, which I certainly believe gave a great amount of false confidence to those aboard the 'Olympics.' Of course, Smith & Co. knew the ship was not technically unsinkable, but I do not think that they believed the ship could ever be damaged seriously enough for that to happen.

They probably came together and split up as part of the inspection process. So, trying to put together any scenario that includes everyone all the time is probably not possible.

I think this is an important point, which I agree with.

Best regards,

Mark.
 

Logan Geen

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Dec 2, 2001
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By the way does anyone have a theory as to where Chief Officer Wilde was at the time of the crash? No one is sure, but my guess is he was in his cabin.
 
Jan 5, 2001
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Hi Logan!

Well, without evidence I think your idea is correct personally -- after all, he'd been off watch since 6 p.m. and was due on again at 2 a.m. Several hours before he was due to come on watch again, I'd guess he was just resting as you said.

Best regards,

Mark.
 

Logan Geen

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I'm wondering if McElroy went looking for Smith-after all passengers were waking up, the mail room and baggage rooms were flooding, etc. McElroy might have been awakaned, and gone looking for Smith himself, trying to figure out was going on. I am betting-though without evidence-that Wilde came onto the bridge on his own, probably wondering what was going on also. Andrews may have missed the collision itself, maybe it was the ship stopping that got his attention. I also believe Smith must have had some contact with the Chief Engineer and the carpenter at some point on the inspection. Ismay may have returned to the bridge shortly after Andrews had informed Smith that the ship was doomed. Considering he had rushed up earlier I'd imagine he went back to find out what was wrong with the ship. That the inspection party split up makes perfect sense. In the meantime Murdoch, Hitchens and Moody were still on the bridge, it seems Boxhall and Olliver were moving most of the time. The above is only opinions.
 

George Behe

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Hi, Logan!

>Andrews may have missed the collision itself, >maybe it was the ship stopping that got his >attention.

That might indeed explain why Andrews was first seen headed toward the engine room instead of toward the bow.

All my best,

George
 
Jan 5, 2001
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Hi Logan!

'Only opinions' -- but very good opinions IMHO! I was thinking hard last night and from what I remember here was my similar hypothesis (though I may (a.k.a. *will*) have remembered some details wrong and that is whay I am only doing it roughly).

Collision. QM Olliver sent to get Carpenter to sound ship. Boxhall despatched to look for damage forward in the bow.

Ismay comes to bridge here and then returns to suite.

Boxhall arrives back on bridge and says he saw no damage; Smith orders him to find carpenter also.

'Half ahead.'

Olliver finds carpenter taking draft of water.

Then Boxhall leaves & meets carpenter on the way up, Boxhall continuing below; Olliver appears and takes a message to the Chief Engineer, Bell.

Chief Wilde comes to bridge. Then the Carpenter who reports of flooding. Purser McElroy appears also. Andrews may arrive now. Wirless room informed of possible distress call needed in future. 'Inspection party' -McElroy, Wilde, Carpenter, Smith, possible Andrews - leaves. Wilde goes to forepeak, then back to bridge, others continue below and split up before returning to bridge, Andrews last.

On bridge situation reviewed. Ismay then appears. Andrews says they're doomed. Carpenter sent below to take another draft of water - to guage sinking pace/or confirm. 'Slow astern' telegraphed, followed by 'stop.'

Boxhall appears, sent to wake Lightoller/Pitman and get them to deck; Wilde goes to lifeboats. Moody sent to get boat assignments. Distress call sent. Boatswain called, etc. ...

Best regards,

Mark.
 

George Behe

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Hi, Mark!

>Chief Wilde comes to bridge. Then the Carpenter >who reports of flooding.
> Purser McElroy appears also. >Andrews may arrive now. Wirless room
> informed of possible >distress call needed in future. 'Inspection >party'
> -McElroy, Wilde, Carpenter, >Smith, possible Andrews - leaves. Wilde goes
> to forepeak, then back to >bridge, others continue below and split up
> before returning to bridge, >Andrews last.

Although most of the above events *might* have happened, I'm not aware of any evidence to suggest that most of them actually *did* happen.

Individually:

>Chief Wilde comes to bridge.

Possible (or even probable), but I've never seen specific evidence to that effect.

>Then the Carpenter >who reports of flooding.

True.

> Purser McElroy appears also.

Although McElroy was seen near the bridge right before the sinking, I don't know of any eyewitnesses who saw him there this early in the evening.

>Andrews may arrive now.

Again, no surviving witnesses to confirm it.

> 'Inspection >party' -McElroy, Wilde, Carpenter, >Smith, possible Andrews - leaves.

If all members of this proposed group left at the same time, I suggest that they may have gone off in different directions. McElroy -- was not seen in the company of any of these people until he and Smith approached the mail room together: Wilde -- Hemming's statement suggests (but does not prove) that Wilde may have been alone as well; Carpenter -- no evidence about his movements one way or the other; Smith -- was not seen in anyone's company until he and McElroy approached the mail room together; Andrews -- was not seen in anyone's company until he and Smith left the mail room together.

Perhaps I'm overly cautious here, but I don't think it's safe to 'assign' participants to a formal inspection team unless there was at least one eyewitness who saw one or more of these men in each other's company and who could corroborate each separate 'assignment.'

Mark, did you receive my private email? If so, you'll be interested to hear that I've just stumbled across a 'new' piece of the puzzle which helps to confirm one of Smith's destinations. (I opened one of my scrapbooks to look up some info for Randy when another survivor interview on the facing page leaped out at me.) :)

Will be speaking with you again soon.

All my best,

George
 
Dec 4, 2000
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Responses to two of George's postings -- The logical place for Andrews to head was the engine room where he could obtain the most information. From the control platform in the recip engine room he could learn the status of the engines and the reason for stopping. If there was a problem forward, he would get an inkling from information passed aft from the stokeholds to the duty engineer. It really wouldn't matter what had happened or why, Andrews would have been going to the "right spot" to start his personal inspection if he went to the engine room.

I must also agree with George about "assigning" people to a formal inspection team. There may have been a group of people that went below together, but they probably split apart to various tasks rather quickly. But, if we do not have an eyewitness to put a specific officer in the inspection group, it is wrong to assume he was there just because of his rank.

-- David G. Brown
 
Jan 5, 2001
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Hi George!

This will have to be a short post unfortunately.

<FONT COLOR="ff0000">>Chief Wilde comes to bridge.

Possible (or even probable), but I've never seen specific evidence to that effect.

I agree with the latter point, however Wilde would have had to come onto the bridge before his inspection below which we *have got* evidence of -- at least, he visited forepeak. No witnesses (Boxhall, Olliver) reported him on the bridge, so he must have surely been there when *they weren't* -- or they *forgot.*

<FONT COLOR="ff0000">> Purser McElroy appears also.

Although McElroy was seen near the bridge right before the sinking, I don't know of any eyewitnesses who saw him there this early in the evening.

Yes, but we *do* (from memory) have evidence of Smith and McElroy belowdecks, going to the mailroom.

IMHO, as we have no evidence (to my vague knowledge in this area only) of Purser McElroy going directly belowdecks from his C-deck cabin, I deem it more likely he went up to the bridge first -- or *might possibly* have been summoned -- before going down. (But, yes I admit I can't prove it.)
smile.gif
.

<FONT COLOR="ff0000">>Andrews may arrive now.

Again, no surviving witnesses to confirm it.

Yes, but note I indicated *may*. I am troubled in this part myself.

<FONT COLOR="ff0000">If all members of this proposed group left at the same time, I suggest that they may have gone off in different directions.

I think this likely. I must apologise for my poor wording. The problems with working against time.

BTW, can you receive e-mailed attachments, such as a Word text file with colour? (Strange question, I know!)

Best regards,

Mark.
 

George Behe

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Hi, Mark!

> BTW, can you receive e-mailed attachments, such >as a Word text file with colour?

If I receive an attachment (no matter what type of document it is), I have to download it as a simple .txt (ascii) file or else none of my software can open it. (I'm still happily using Windows 3.1.) :)

If you send me an attached document with a .txt suffix, though, I should be able to open it.

All my best,

George
 

George Behe

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Dec 11, 1999
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Hi, Dave!

>The logical place for Andrews to head was the >engine room ....

That does indeed seem to be what happened. (Smith too -- although the two men seem to have made their way there separately.)

All my best,

George
 
Jan 5, 2001
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Hi George!

Sent that attachment, as a txt. file, net file and normal word file just in case!

BTW, I've been wondering about Smith's mysterious note to Chief Engineer Bell. As he visited the engine room, it seems likely that he may have spoken to Bell then -- so why send a note?

Dave, do you have any thoughts about this note? I forgot to address one point:

<FONT COLOR="ff0000">There may have been a group of people that went below together, but they probably split apart to various tasks rather quickly. But, if we do not have an eyewitness to put a specific officer in the inspection group, it is wrong to assume he was there just because of his rank.

I particularly agree with the last bit -- however, we *do have* evidence of: Carpenter going to bridge; Purser McElroy below decks with Smith; Andrews belowdecks with Smith; Chief Wilde belowdecks with Hemming investigating the forepeak. Whether they were all part of a team, or even left the bridge at the same time, is open to debate and a lack of evidence is frustrating. But, we do have evidence of all belowdecks involved in damage inspections at some point.

Best regards,

Mark.
 
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Regarding the mysterious note--Lightoller confirmed in his testimony that White Star relied upon "word of hand" from the bridge to engine room. This meant written notes. I believe they even had a special form for the purpose.

I have no idea what Smith wrote to Bell. My "gut" is that the captain told the chief to disregard anything Ismay said or demanded. But, that's just my guess.

I have been in a couple of minor emergencies on smaller vessels. With a well-disciplined crew everyone goes about the business of: A. insuring the safety of the passengers; B. insuring the safety of the ship; and finally, C. finding out what the hell is wrong. To anyone outside the group it appears much like everyone is just running around. And, I doubt that anyone afterward could say for sure what he was doing when. It's no wonder that we are having so much trouble pinning down exact locations for various people during the "run around" period right after the accident.

My guess would be that Smith sent Wilde forward into the holds to check in detail while he probably did a cursory look there and then went to talk to Chief Bell. Everyone was working on a fast bell, so its not surprising they all got around the boat a good bit. Nor is it surprising that Captain Smith returned to the bridge so quickly. He was, as they say, "a man on a mission.

I more-or-less discount all claims that preditions of the ship's remaining life were made. Nobody can really predict what will happen or how long it will take when a ship is seriously damaged. It's not uncommon for the flooding to stabilize and the hulk remain afloat. Nor is it uncommon for a ship to suddenly roll over and die.

But, wouldn't it be exciting for somebody to find that handwritten note...

-- David G. Brown
 

Erik Wood

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Apr 10, 2001
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I would have to agree with Captain Dave on this one. If it where me I would have told Bell to disregard Ismay and just to brush him off.

The world of Maritime Emergency is extremely difficult of those who are not actually in the maritime industry to grasp. For instance Captain Smith's first concern was for the ship. For the sole reason that it contained his passengers. The passengers always come first. I think that I wrote something like this before but once Smith knew the ship was damaged his mind was going back and forth to what is best for the passengers to how long will the ship float or is the ship going to stay afloat.

Right after the incident Captain Smith was not really the one in command. Chief Bell and Andrews where in command in a informal sense. Captain Smith has to keep the big picture of hte accident Chief Bell knew better what the ship could take and couldn't take as did Andrews. As in most cases the Captain was acting on information passed to him by other people. That is the way it works.

That is a hard concept for people to accept. Once Smith had the information he had to act on it and that is what he did. The running around is a common thing. It may look disorganized but in reality it is very organized. Very disciplined.

I have several stories to confirm what Captain Dave said as I am sure that Mike Standart does as well.

Erik
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Easley South Carolina
I can only speak to the military side of the house, but when you get down to it, the actions taken are pretty much the same. In Navy practice, we have damage control teams in verious lockers and the damage control effort is run through Damage Control Central.

The lockers themselves have trained investigators who tour areas of the ship that they are responsible for who then report their findings to the locker leader. He/she then passes on the information to DC Central even as damage control parties are despatched to those parts of the ship that have taken damage to get things under control, be it to put out a fire or to isolate and control flooding. DC Central passes on the information to the Captain so he can be kept informed of the Big Picture, and they also pass on orders to the damage control lockers as needed.

Communications can be either through the telephone or the sound powered phones (If they're working!) or by messengers through notes written on specific forms. People have specific jobs and are often cross trained in others so they can step up to the plate if somebody is injured or rendered corpus kaput.

I've personally had training in fire fighting, shoring, Nuclear/biological/chemical warfare and first aid to name a few. To an outsider, it looks damned chaotic. In fact, it's pretty well organised. Each team has specific jobs and areas of responsibility so just about any contingency can be covered. Best of all, it works!

This is but a quick and very dirty summary of how it works, so I'll leave the floor open for questions if anybody has any.

BTW, Erik is dead on right; the ship cames first because if you lose that, you are in heap big trouble!

Cordially,
Michael H. Standart